Monday, August 30, 2010

A week of cakes for little ladies

Cake decorating is fun regardless of how you look at it.  The creative process of creating something pretty and delicious looking, is always special.  If you cook a fabulous meal, people will eat it, thank you but it doesn't compare to the sort of response you get from someone receiving a beautiful cake.  There is something about sugar and eggs and butter that make people extra happy!  Such was the case this week when Tracey ordered a cake for little Lucy's first birthday.

 Yummy mummy Tracey fell in love with Koko the cupcake fairy from Paper Eskimo and as every woman knows, there is always a little girl inside of us who secretly wants a pink fairy cake!

Tracey called me afterwards to tell me how wonderful those few seconds of anticipation were as her hubby opened the lid of the cake box to show her the cake.  Luckily for me, it was how she had imagined it!! To be exact, she mentioned something about almost having tears in her just made my day!
I hope Lucy had lots of lovely memories of the awesome party her mum organised for her!

Post script 2/9/10
I'm so glad Lucy enjoyed her birthday cake!!
Photo coutesy of proud mum Tracey via email

~ ~ ~

 Moving onto more lovely ladies this week, was the Delectable & Sugar collaboration of a Rainbow pony carousel cake.  Requested by the birthday girl's best friend, the cake was a surprise to celebrate her 22nd birthday.   As this young lady is graduating this year, the cake also marked a special milestone.

Putting the finishing touches on the cake.  We worked and worked on this cake.....until the wee hours of the morning!
Thanks so much Jo!  I couldn't have dreamed for a better partner in crime!!  

We wish Diana an unforgetable birthday!

Postscipt: 2/9/10
From Shiyu via email:
It was awesome! Thank you so much for helping out! She was very very happy, and she keep hopping back and forth her room and fridge peeping the cake!  Thanks for everything. BTW the cake looked so good when the candles were lit! They literally looked like a glowing merry go round with real lights on! :))

~ ~ ~

And then of course there was the lovely Elaina, who turned a very impressive 15 years young!  Ah....what you wouldn't give to be 15 again!  *sigh* 

I learnt all about pokemons and pokeballs for you Elaina!!  Pichu or Pikachu....that WAS the question!!

This one is definately Pichu.....I hope he can do some sort of impressive magical thing!  It sure looks like it was a really fabulous party!  Happy 15th Birthday Elaina, I hope it was Electric!!

photo coutesy of Leona via facebook

~ ~ ~

And last but not the least, was Claudia's confirmation.  

Such a lovely tradition of celebrating the holy occassion with family, friends, food and cake!
All with matching cupcakes too!  Congratulations Claudia, hope the joy you feel on Confirmation day remains with you for a lifetime!

It was such an amazing pleasure to produce all these pretty cakes, so, a special thank you to the wonderful mums and best friends with such lovely ideas and made the special effort to make a difference to their loved ones this week!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tea by the River

Sometimes, girls just need to have a break.  So, what does one do when you meet up with your girlfriends on a lazy sunday to talk the way that only girls can?

Have high tea of course!

The location for this tea event, was the Pennisula Tearooms in Maylands.  Situated next to the historic Tranby House on the Maylands Pennisula, it boast a lovely serene view on the Swan River in a very uncommercial setting.  It's like taking a step back in the past and arriving on the porch of a colonial English household, where the lady of the house is actually French....
Although the Parisian high tea service was more miss than hit, it was nevertheless very charming to be sitting by the river with champagne, pouring tea out of silverware and sipping out of Royal Doulton china teacups.  Somehow its like being at the sort of tea party that little girls imagine.......

The Parisian high tea included 2 rounds of tea or coffee and a traditional service of cut finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream and petit fours and cakes.  The champagne - Chandon Vintage was provided by us.

It's good for you to look at pretty things...expecially if they are edible!

Unfortunately we chanced on a particularly busy weekend and so waited an unacceptable amount of time to be served....with little explanation.  My advice, it's a wonderful place to go if you have plenty of time and wish to have a stroll by the lake, take a photo by the weeping willows and on the jetty.   And if by chance, the teahouse is not busy, grab a table and just enjoy the day!

Hope you all had a marvellous weekend!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Europe and Cupcakes for Astrology

It started as an interesting brief..... A cake in the colours of the Hungarian flag.....with some Hugarian dancing red...... for an 18th birthday.

Well, reason being, that it was an Europe themed party.  How gorgeous!  Imagine all the wonderfully 'delicious' things you could dress up as!!

 I had a great time making the boots!

As well as the boots, Isadora also got cupcakes with European flags...

and Burberry tartaned cupcakes.

So I hope she put on her dancing shoes and had a magnificent time celebrating being all "grown up"!!
On the other side of town, at the University of WA to be exact......Open day was in full force.  ICRAR -  the International Cebtre for Radio Astronomy Research wanted to lure potiential bright minds with cupcakes..... and hence....the ICRAR cupcakes


  I wonder how they chose who got cupcakes.....!

 Two peas in a pod

Twins are not so unusual these days - but naturally conceived twins are truly something special.  And so it was the excited grandparents to be that threw the extravagant baby shower.  80 people and lots and lots of food and cake and cupcakes too.

The peas in the pod topper made to match the invitations and the cupcakes were the hit of the day!

Also this week Jessica Pedemont was in town taking the last week of Planet Cake courses for the year.   Jessica, chocolatier, pastry chef and cake decorating expert, who's classes I was in back when I first started training at PC headquarters.  So it was really exciting to be working with her again.

Busily covering their square cakes, believe you me, it's as challenging as it looks!!.

Although Jess makes it look like a breeze.

Precision = perfection

Class completed (sorry on the quality of the pics).  Everyone did brilliantly with beautiful earthy tones!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Planet Cake Perth

Oh boy!  Its like landing on your feet, hit the ground and then start running!  No time to catch your breath or look around....just keep running.  Yeah, that pretty much sums it up for the last few weeks.  

No sooner had I landed back in Perth, fresh from the brisk cool weather of Melbourne, Perth was full of sunshine and blue skies, Handi had breezed into town and we launched with gusto into the Planet Cake Perth classes at Epicurious in Subiaco.

Here are our wonderful 101 class on the first weekend!  Such gorgeous colours and big smiles!!

This time around, Handi and Jessica are both taking classes, with Basics 101 and 102 being the main focus.  Of course with Jo, Glenda and I being their trusty sidekicks as facilitators.

The specialty class of Bride & Groom figurines was a particularly charming class.

and making figurines is such happy work, that you simply just get in the zone and away you go!

It looks like a Korean wedding!!  Some of these lovely ladies travelled so far for this class from Catherine and Donnybrook.....hours in a car to get to us!  
Such gorgeous results!  What a lovely way to spend a Sunday!

Basic 103 class did marvellously.  Lots of familiar faces from the beginner courses in May who are now moving onto intermediate classes.  I went to deliver muffins, champagne and to take photos of their stunning cakes produced over 2 hardworking days!!  Look at those adorable colours!  Well done ladies.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Entremet Class at Savour School

Entremets....??  What is an entremet?

Kirsten Tibballs explains :  It means between layers, or between servings. Somewhere along the line, a French patissier decided that seeing as housewives were producing cakes and calling them gateaux, that a professionally produced one should be called something else.  A well made entremet should be visually appealling, have textural contrast, and, of course, taste good. The taste buds should be tempted as well with different combinations of taste sensations like salty, sour, sweet and bitter.

The quality of the ingredients we used for our Entremets at Savour school, I can be certain to say is of superior quality to the majority of commercial products nationwide.  But now that I have tasted the best, I can determine quality from this very high benchmark comparison!

Some of the most exciting parts of learning, is meeting the interesting people you are in class with.  Like Sophie, I was so impressed with her attitude, almost enough to change my mind about Y Gen.  They CAN be focused, talented and have good attitudes.

 Sophie works with none other than the fabulous Clare...
Remember Clare?

Who gave me serious cake envy in Topsy Turvy class!

  or real life Australian Cake Boss - Dymon from the Hellenic Bakery, Marrickville in Sydney - yes, that's him in the back supervising the girls.....

As well as Poornima (3rd from left) who is returning to India this year with her other half to open their little dream business and Julianti (2nd from left) who is as equally cake crazed as me as well as being a fellow Planet Cake addict.  And Anna, fellow Westralian who made the cross country trek all in the name of cake!  Thanks team for making the learning experience so much more rewarding!

Moving on.....

Classes started with making a traditional strawberry charlotte - with a modern twist of course.
First up, learn how to make perfect sponge fingers

and the resulting creations.  Aren't they pretty in pink?

Add some rum and Flambe the bananas....

For the Ambre

A delicious combination of hazelnut brownie base, caramelized rum bananas, coconut mousse with a salted caramel glaze.

Introducing the Nirvana 

Covered with a gorgeous Titanium white chocolate glaze - just like Masterchef finals week!

Me carefully placing the finishing touches on top

Looks like Kirsten approved of my reproduction of her creation.   In class we dubbed this the 'Lego cake' - a delicious combination of nougat and apricot.  Those spheres are actually thin as wafer chocolate domes filled with Callebaut chocolate mousse, then sprayed with cocoa butter - for extra melt in the mouth deliciousness!

 Placement of the kirsch truffles on the Cube before adding the glaze.

Yes....the shell for the Yarra Tart is not precise enough...well, file it down!  Talk about perfection!

Gorgeous, gorgeous chocolate cherry spheres for our decorating the Cube.  Complete with that "Whoa" shine factor!

Oops.... not so happy......making jam is hazardous to your health!  One seriously burned finger sitting in a cool water bath......

Moving onto Macaron class, look at Yvette go!  
How fabulous to see another Planet Cake team member at Savour!!  The world is such a small place for cake enthusiasts!

Here are the little fussy things resting....

 and here they are about to be devoured by Paul who gets first pick...... caught in the action!

How to impress the students a bit more?  Hamburger macarons of course!

How adorable is that??

Not to mention, sinfully delicious.

And then I hand carried them all the way home!!

(photo courtesy of Joanne Tay)

I want to thank the dedicated team at Savour School.

Kirsten for her vision and passion to the pastry arts - where would Australians be without her spearheading our knowledge of fine patisserie and chocolate?
Paul for his Paulisms, good humour, flair and amazing talent and Robyn for her patience, perfection and love of teaching, 

Seung-Yun for her quiet persistance and excellence in her craft and of course the hard working office team, who's names we didnt always know, but certainly enabled everything to take place.  I look forward to seeing you all soon!

Meanwhile, back in Perth........
Planet Cake has landed.  Stay posted!